Musicians

American Theatre Wing presents the 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge – APRIL 30TH DEADLINE

For the second year and in collaboration with the American Theatre Wing, the Arts Endowment is calling for applications from high school students to the agency’s Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. This national program is for students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musical theater including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more. The application is simple and can be completed here  Beginning Tuesday, February 12 with a deadline of April 30, 2019 at midnight ET. This year’s competition follows a successful inaugural year in 2018 that featured finalists from across the country. For this second year, the Songwriting Challenge will again pair si...

Lori Schiff: On How Alexander Technique Can Enhance Learning and Performance Under Pressure

What is Alexander Technique, and how can musicians benefit from it? How is it learned? Bulletproof Musician answers these questions and more in a sit down chat with Alexander Technique expert Lori Schiff. READ ARTICLE via www.bulletproofmusician.com

10 Lessons Songwriting Duo Kooman & Diamond Have Learned from Working in Television

BY MICHAEL KOOMAN & CHRISTOPHER DIAMOND via www.breakingcharactermagazine.com Over the course of the last few years, we have had the privilege of serving as songwriters for the Disney Junior animated TV series “Vampirina,” which follows a family of friendly vampires who have recently moved from their home in Transylvania to Pennsylvania.  By the end of the show’s second season, we will have written 100 songs. As lifelong Disney nerds, this opportunity has been a dream come true. We’ve had the chance to work with an amazing cast featuring some of our childhood voiceover heroes like Cree Summer, as well as a number of Broadway icons such as Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Christian Borle. Needless to say, however, for theatre songwriters who had never previously written songs fo...

Preventing Overuse Injuries and Playing Pain-Free for Musicians

BY NOA KAGEYAMA, PH.D. via www.bulletproofmusician.com Janet Horvath: On Preventing Overuse Injuries and Playing Pain-Free Summer festivals were always the highlight of my year. Sure, there was more practicing, rehearsing, and playing to do than during the school year, but none of this ever felt like work when it was summertime. Getting to play awesome music alongside dedicated and talented musicians in orchestra and ensemble rehearsals, studio classes, and lessons, made for tons of inspiration and many lifelong memories. Not to mention all the fun times hanging out with old and new friends, and engaging in various “this-is-probably-not-a-good-idea-but-what-the-heck-it’s-summer” escapades (like hiking up a mountain in the dark to see the sunrise, only to arrive at the summit, discover that...

A Word to the Wise on Resumes & Cover Letters

BY JAY DUCKWORTH via www.stage-directions.com We get so many resumes here at the Public Theater it’s sometimes hard to go through all of them. So, there are some things I look for and some things that are just standard practices. With a lot of you graduating out there or applying for internships or maybe just old codgers like me looking to revisit and update your resume so you can remember where you worked and how cool it was, here are some good rules and tips from us, (myself and Sara Swanberg, the prop shop manager for The Public Theater), the people who have to actually read your resumes and make hiring decisions.

5 Exercises to Improve Your Rhythmic Precision and Feel

BY DIEGO MALDONADO via www.learnjazzstandards.com When we are new to learning a musical instrument, we want to learn the cool stuff; the stuff that has a bunch of notes in it. We want to show off to our peers how good we are getting by playing complicated stuff filled with a whole lot of notes. In the process, we overlook the silence or the rests in music. It is a phase we all go through, and it is necessary and valid. However, when we start maturing and comparing our playing with professional musicians, it hits us, and we start realizing what makes the difference between a professional sounding player and an amateur musician. It is phrasing and rhythmic precision; the space in between the notes and between the phrases. It is not how many notes they play, but the ones they don’t. It is not...

Touring with a Pit Orchestra

BY: BRETT MCDONALD via www.majoringinmusic.com Touring with a pit orchestra is a career option for young musicians who opt for gaining travel and experience before settling down. Large national and international tours bring musical theatre to local audiences around the world. The pit orchestra is a key part of it all, along with the vocals, choreography, acting, extravagant set designs, and fantastic musical scores. Doubling is Essential Touring orchestras for musicals are usually reduced in size from where they were originally staged, due to the cost of traveling. As a result, the musicians are typically required to perform at a high level of artistry on a number of instruments (“doubling”), and are expected to cover as many parts of the full score as possible. Woodwind performers can be ...

Tempo Vs. Time Feel and Tips On Improving Them

BY: DIEGO MALDONADO via www.learnjazzstandards.com As a professional drummer and educator, I’ve taught many students and I’ve noticed that many of them are concerned about their tempo. They always ask for advice on how to improve or overcome their tempo issues. However, rarely has a student asked me about time feel. I’ve found that in many cases, students of all instruments are confused with the two terms. And on many occasions when they ask about tempo issues, they are really talking about time feel issues or the other way around. Tempo and time feel are two greatly related concepts, they complement each other. If you have a good grasp on tempo, it is most likely you going to have a nice feel, and vice versa. However, you don’t necessarily need one to have the other; for instance, you can...

Cruise Ship Musician Life

Cruise Ship Musician Life: An Insider Look at Life Aboard A Cruise Ship BY  WWW.LANDAUMUSIC.COM Every day is a new adventure when you’re traveling the world as a cruise ship musician.  Life on board has pros and cons but the benefits and experiences are so worth it. I’ve worked with thousands of cruise ship musicians all over the world and even traveled the world as a cruise ship musician myself. Here I lay out all the details of the cruise ship musician life (both good and bad). So grab your tropical beverage and imagine what life could be like playing your next gig while sailing the high seas. A Traveler’s Lifestyle Life as a cruise ship musician begins with travel. Alaska, Asia, Australia, Baltic, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mediterranean…if there is a large body of water, chances are there is a...